Rawhide Down–30 years later

Thirty years ago yesterday, President Ronald “Rawhide” Reagan was shot.

Deranged lunatic John Hinckley Jr. shot President Reagan solely to impress actress Jodie Foster.

Mr. Hinckley did not appear to have any ideological motive, and the original target was Massachuetts Senator Ted Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy exited a speech through a back entrance, having no idea that Hinckley was waiting for him at the original front entrance.

President Reagan and Press Secretary James Brady were no so lucky. Mr. Brady has been confined toa  wheelchair for the last 30 years.

Yet of all the things that have been said and written about that horrible day 30 years ago, the one thing I keep coming back to are the words of President Reagan.

Upon seeing his loving wife Nancy Reagan, he said, “Honey, I forgot to duck.”

His comments to the doctors will always be legendary. Just before the surgeons were about to save his life, he looked at them and said, “I hope you’re all Republicans.”

The lead surgeon replied, “Mr. President, right now we are all Republicans.”

Think about why so many people love and revere Ronald Wilson “Dutch” Reagan. It was not his conservatism, although conservatives everywhere claim his mantle.

Ronald Reagan put his country before himself. In a land of many selfish individuals, Ronald Reagan at his darkest moment was focusing on the American people.

By making light of a horrendous situation, he was trying to put the entire nation at ease.

How many people would have the fortitude to do this?

Roberto Benini won an Oscar for the movie “Life is Beautiful.” It is the story of a father who makes jokes to his son while they are in a concentration camp. Despite the evil of the Holocaust, the father let humor save his son rather than compound the immense suffering.

That was a story of sacrifice for one young boy.

Ronald Reagan did not face the Holocaust, but he was shot and nearly killed. Yet even at that dark moment, he sacrificed for the 250 million Americans he cared for.

With help from a first rate medical team and luck that can only be described either to almighty God or something we humans do not fully grasp, President Reagan lived another 24 years.

He remains an inspiration to many people all across the world, from Eastern Europeans now free from the tyranny of the Berlin Wall, to virtually every American conservative everywhere.

Many people love him because of policy. Yet it is easy to love people we agree with.

When life is going well, anybody can be gracious and friendly. Ronald Reagan stared death in the face, and spent his almost dying moments making sure we the American people were coping.

There will never be another one like him.

An evil act almost took him away from us only a couple of months into his presidency.

His acts of selflessness helped us heal.

The act against him was an act against all of us. He rose to the challenge, and we followed his lead.

Like the American spirit in tough times, I know we will bounce back. With the spirit of Ronald Reagan inspiring us, we will meet the toughest of challenges and continue on to greatness.

To quote President Reagan during his first inaugural, “Why shouldn’t We? We are Americans.”

Thank you President Reagan, and many thanks to the Secret Service agents and doctors who saved his life and allowed some of the greatest moments in world history to take place shortly after.


One Response to “Rawhide Down–30 years later”

  1. Well, I gotta hand it to conservatives – they really love Ronald Reagan!


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